Daphney’s 40th birthday

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A LIFE-changing diagnosis has prompted a Cookstown woman to turn her 40th birthday into a fundraising extravaganza for charity.

Daphney Scott’s son Nathan was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in March 2009 - a diagnosis which was set to change her life forever.

Daphney remembers Nathan as a baby who gurgled normal baby noises but then one day, while doing the dishes, she realised it had been ages since she had heard him. “It was as if I got up one morning and he was a different child,” she said.

Daphney explains that Nathan has very little verbal communication skills and lives his life through a picture schedule. There are pictures of breakfast, of teeth brushing, of the school bus and everything is in sequence so he knows what is happening all the time.

“If there is even a slight change in his routine he goes into melt down,” said Daphney who is from Windsor Crescent.

Nathan has no concept of birthdays or Christmas and doesn’t know who Santa Claus is. He goes to the pool at the same time very day but doesn’t understand that there has to be a different time on a Sunday.

“It is tough and very complex,” said Daphney who clearly loves her son very much and is very proud of his achievements.

“Since going to school he is like a different child,” she said adding that Nathan, who is in his second year, had come on leaps and bounds since starting at Sperrinview Special School, Dungannon.

And this is why Daphney wanted to raise money for the school and for the National Autistic Society.

With the help of her husband Ken, Daphney has been beavering away, despite her busy and challenging schedule, to organise a ‘funtastic’ fancy dress disco party in Cookstown’s Royal Hotel on October 28.

Daphney said she wanted to make this ‘personal milestone’ into a fundraiser. “Both of my causes have been lifelines to Nathan and indeed us as a family so this is my way of saying a huge thank you for all their help and continuing support,” she said.

“I hope that people will show their support for me and Nathan and I then in turn can show my support for the two charities as they have given me so much.”

DJ Merv will be spinning sounds from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Many are going in fancy dress, but that is optional.

Daphney is also laying on a delicious buffet before the disco with party games and fabulous raffles.

Tickets are available from Daphney on 07518625083.

“Let’s raise the roof while raising funds,” she said. “Your support is appreciated.”